Tips For Choosing The Perfect Cut Of Corned Beef Brisket

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Whether buying ready-to-cook corned beef or bringing your own, ensure the meat is seasoned with pink curing salt, not regular table salt. The former is dyed pink to prevent confusion with regular salt and ensures that the brisket cures evenly.

Smoked Cut

The smoked beef brisket cut is famous for sandwiches and other barbecue dishes. Slow cooking makes The meat ultra-tender, highlighting the beef’s natural flavor. The best place to buy corned beef brisket for sale is at your deli or butcher shop. This way, you can support a local business while getting your desired high-quality meat. Look for a cut with even thickness side-to-side and end-to-end. You also want to ensure the meat is deep red, indicating it has been cured in salt brine. You can also find brisket at some grocery stores and supermarkets. However, the quality may be better than that purchased from a local butcher or deli. Look for a cut cured in salt brine and pickling spices. The brine gives the meat a distinctively savory, beefy flavor. You can even ask the butcher to add a spice rub for extra flavor. When choosing a rub, consider the type of smoker you use. Electric, propane, and pellet-fed smokers are ideal for smoking brisket because they offer the most control over heat and moisture levels. For maximum smoky flavor, try using a mixture of black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground coriander.

Flat Cut

Corned beef (sometimes called salt beef) is a delicious and unique cut of meat. It’s cured in a pickle-spiced salt brine and simmered until it is fall-apart juicy, tender, and flavorful. The curing process also gives it a distinctive pink color. It’s the perfect meal for Saint Patrick’s Day or any other celebration and an excellent option for sandwiches and stews. When buying corned beef, it’s essential to choose the proper cut. Different cuts of meat are available, and they vary in terms of thickness, color, and cooking time. To make sure you’re getting the best cut, it’s best to ask for recommendations from your local butcher or visit a specialty store. The flat cut of corned beef brisket is from the belly side of the cow and is thicker in texture than the point cut.

Point Cut

A brisket is a lean primal cut from the steer’s lower chest area, the crucial component used to make corned beef. This challenging piece of meat is filled with collagen and has potent muscle fibers that hold up under low heat for a long time. It comes in two cuts for the flat and the point. During the curing process, the brisket is soaked in a salty brine laced with sodium nitrite to add color and prevent bacteria growth for more extended shelf stability. The nitrite is dyed pink, so it’s easy to distinguish from table salt when purchasing the product. The process can take up to seven days, and it is best if the brisket has some fat. “You want a little bit of fat to help add moisture and boost the flavor,” says Langer. He recommends purchasing a whole brisket, which includes the flat and point, rather than just the flat. Many recipes call for boiling corned beef until it’s “fall-apart” and fork tender, which can result in mushy meat. Using a quick-read meat thermometer to test for doneness is essential. The internal temperature should read at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. A higher internal temperature will ensure a more tender texture.

Fully Cooked

A whole brisket slab of meat weighs upwards of 16 pounds, so it’s typically cut into flat and point cuts for commercial sale. While both are beefy tasting, the point cut is more tender and juicy than the leaner flat cut. Both cuts require long, slow cooking over low heat in the oven or stovetop. The cooking process can take up to five hours and is a lengthy affair that requires patience. While waiting for the corned beef to cook, it’s a good idea to munch on some snacks to keep yourself going. Unlike many other cuts of meat, brisket is challenging and requires plenty of time to become tender. The thicker the brisket, the more it needs to be simmered at lower temperatures. The goal is to render the fat and break down muscle fibers, resulting in meat that’s tender enough to eat with a fork. Local butchers still use the old-fashioned way of soaking whole briskets in large barrels of salt and spices. The technique results in a rich flavor and firm texture that many butchers say they can’t reproduce with other methods. If you want to try it yourself, put your brisket in a pan with water covering one-fourth of its thickness and cook at 325 degrees for about three and a half hours.

Annie Jones
Annie Jones
I'm Annie Jones, Megri contributor, cook healthy food and makeup obsessive. I write for health, fashion and finance sections of the site from past 7 years.

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